Leeds United v Millwall: Jones returns ready to instil fighting spirit

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott.
Leeds United manager Brian McDermott.
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‘VINNIE’S gonna get you,” was a familiar battle cry from the Gelderd End when Vinnie Jones patrolled the Leeds United midfield in the promotion-winning season of 1989-90.

It is a phrase that the current crop of United players might like to bear in mind after manager Brian McDermott revealed that the 49-year-old, back at Elland Road today to say hello to a few familiar faces, might be invited into the home dressing room.

“I know Vinnie is really popular at Elland Road,” said the Leeds chief. “He is bringing his (Division Two winners’) medal with him, so it is a great gesture. I look forward to seeing him.

“He is going to come into the dressing room before the game.”

Asked if Vinnie, who led by example as a Leeds player, might be asked to say a few words to the players, McDermott replied: “Absolutely. I might let him play.”

The last sentence was delivered in jest and accompanied by a big smile, something that has not been seen round Elland Road very much of late.

Three straight defeats and the continuing uncertainty over the club’s ownership have seen to that. McDermott, though, is hoping the return of Jones will help inspire his players.

He added: “I have a memory of Vinnie. We played against each other in 1986. I played for the biggest club in Sweden, Djurgardens. He was playing for a little club up north (IFK Holmsund) and it was a Cup game.

“We got bashed 4-0, I never got a kick and Vinnie was man of the match. He was terrific that day. He kicked me all night and all day. But he was a good player as well.

“Vinnie was just starting out. But, even then. he was obviously a leader and a tough guy. But someone who could also play as well.”